Rick's fishing season is over until the ice melts,
but we have a nice stash of articles he has written
in the past as ideas or events occured to him. We hope
this will explain apparent 'out of season' articles.
I went out for one of my normal Saturday
morning recreation periods. I usually pack
most of my fishing gear in the truck the night
before so I can get up and take off. This time
I got interrupted in the middle of the process.
When I got home I thought I finished the process
of putting everything in that I would need.
I got to the pond and was loading everything
into the canoe when I realized that the anchor
was not with me. I thought for a minute, or less,
and then decided that I did not want to make the
18 mile round trip to get the anchor and come back.
Besides that the pond was flat as there was no wind.
I also could hear and see numerous fish taking something
off the surface with slurping sounds.
Before I launched the canoe I changed one of
the flies to a floating nymph pattern (in my
favorite bluegill fly articles). I kept the
other fly as a subsurface fly to cover the whole
water column. I then launched out and cast the
fly. It sat on the water for a moment and then
a gill came out of the water and hit it going
down. This fish was hooked before I could do
It was great fun on a 3 wt as this fish turned
sideways and worked to stay away from the canoe.
After I landed this fish I cast out again. After
the fly had sat for a time period I twitched it
a little. After the third twitch I could see a
bulge of water coming at the fly. I waited until
the fly disappeared and then tightened the line.
I had a foot long bass decide to become an aerialist.
This fish spent more time out of the water than
in it. But he was fun to catch.
With the noise this fish had made I decided to move
a little ways. I cast near the weed line by the
shore and had an immediate hit. This fish wanted
to go back into the weeds and we had a time of it
before I got this fish into the open water away
from the weeds. This fish fought very hard to stay
away from the canoe. He stayed sideways and worked
to try to get to the bottom.
I finally got him in. I decided to cast near the
same place, just to see what would happen. This
time I had a 6" bass hit the fly. This fish came
in fairly easily. The next three casts to near
the same place all produced small bass.
It was time to move. I moved about 20 feet before
casting again. I cast to the edge of the weeds
again, but where there was a little point. I had
a big gill immediately suck in the fly and then
get tied up in some weeds. It took some messing
around but I finally got the fish out of the weeds
and away from the edge. We then got into a tug-of-war,
which I eventually won. I checked after I landed
this fish and she went 11.75 inches. I put her back
in the pond to keep those genetics around.
I cast by the point again and had another gill
take the fly. This fish was a little smaller but
still put up a great fight. This one went 11.5".
I moved from that spot, to keep from stressing
the big gills that seemed to be there.
At this point the wind started to pick up a
little. This was OK as it would move me along
the pond and I could cast to likely looking
spots. I came to some deeper water and decided
to try a Peacock Sword Tail Nymph (also in the
favorites article). I cast this out and was
letting the fly drop when I saw the line twitch.
I set the hook and had the fish most of the way
in when the hook came out. I could see that the
fish was barely lip hooked. Time to cast again
and try again.
This time I had a better hook set and got this
fish in. This was a gill of about 10" of length
but was almost round in shape. He looked a little
like a football. I kept casting with the fly and
got about 1 of 4 fish to the canoe. Still it was
at least a strike a cast and that was fun.
The wind was picking up more all of the time.
When I came to a flat shelf along the pond I
went back to the floating fly. After I cast it
out I saw the fish come up to take it. This was
not one of my better casts. Only about 12 feet,
but the fish hit the fly. My next cast was a
little longer and that took another fish.
It then hit me that I may have been spooking
several fish in the shallow water by making
a long cast, hooking a fish, and then dragging
that fish through the water where other fish
were at. I kept doing the short casting and
catching fish on almost every cast.
I did this down the one side of the pond and
then paddled back to the dam end where the wind
was coming from. I caught more fish where the
water was shallow with the floating bug and used
the peacock sword tail nymph in the deeper water.
I kept on catching fish, and losing some to short
Finally the wind got too strong and I left the
pond. I don't like to be out in the canoe in 30
to 35 mph winds. Besides that I have a hard time
casting with wind like that.
I ended up with 52 gills and 3 crappie to bring
home. I know that with the fish that I released
I had a hundred fish day. I left the bass and
the huge gills, but that will insure good fishing
in the years ahead.
I hope you can get out on the water. ~ Rick Zieger